I checked my bees today. Wiped the first snow away from the entrance of their hive. Not sure they are going to make it through the winter but I am trying to be optimistic.
Then saw this article on the Bill Moyers site. It’s from back in May when the European Union banned the pesticides that are the main culprit in the die off. “ A [US] federal study attributes the massive die-off in American honey bee colonies to a combination of factors, including pesticides, poor diet, parasites and a lack of genetic diversity. ” They left out the stress that most commercial hives are subjected to by being trucked around from mono-crop to mono- crop throughout the year. True migrant workers. And subjected to some of the same appalling conditions as their human counterparts.
“Poor diet” may be code for this phenomenon. I think it is. Bees are meant to live in one place gathering the pollen and nectar from that spot throughout the season. The varied diet that keeps organisms healthy. Not that I think that the pesticides and the lack of genetic diversity aren’t important factors, too. But we all know that if you are stressed and poorly fed your immune system is not up to the job of fighting off the things in the environment that tend to make you sick. This is what is happening to the bees.
So my wild hive got as cushy a summer as I could give them. I will feed them through the winter and hope for the best.